It takes a very serious problem to divert a flight, especially ones bound for a far-flung destination like Hawaii. Turns out, anger over blanket fees is a very serious problem.
A Hawaiian Airlines pilot diverted a plane bound for the Aloha State from Las Vegas after a 66-year-old passenger became upset over the cost of a blanket during a Wednesday flight, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Authorities said the man asked for a blanket. When a crew member reportedly told him a blanket would cost $12, he became upset and said he shouldn’t have to pay since the cabin was too cold.
The man wanted to escalate his complaint to Hawaiian Airlines’ corporate offices, and threatened to “take someone behind the woodshed for this,” according to CBS-LA.
Los Angeles Airport Police spokesman Rob Pedegro told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the passenger’s threat was why pilots decided to divert the flight, which was a few miles past the Southern California coast, to the Los Angeles International Airport.
Video below shows the passenger being escorted off a plane in Los Angeles during Wednesday’s flight from Las Vegas to Hawaii.
Los Angeles airport police and FBI agents escorted the passenger off the plane, but didn’t charge him with any crime. His name wasn’t released because he wasn’t arrested.
“It was just a complaint about a blanket, about the cost of the blanket,” Pedegron told the Star-Advertiser. Pedegron said the man was not a threat and joked that there was “no woodshed on board,” according to The Washington Post.
The Hawaii-bound flight was delayed in Los Angeles for four hours. The passenger found another flight to Hawaii the following day.
Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement that diverting flight is not the carrier’s first choice, but the crew felt “it was necessary to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean.”